My mother talked about this sad situation a couple of times, and of course her info would have been family lore passed down through the generations. Apparently the family all traveled to a religious conference a distance from their home. I gather a trip at that time would have either been on foot, or by horse and buggy. Whatever the means of travel, they apparently all came home with major respiratory conditions. Whether they all contracted the tuberculosis bug at that time is not sure. Perhaps the flu bug they caught, left them in a weakened state, and thus succeptable to TB.
Tuberculosis was not a quick killer. Patients often lingered on for a year or two after initial symptoms. The five children all died within a period of six years. It is entirely likely that one may have caught if from another, as they tried to care for the sicker ones. What is particularly sad is that all the victims were either late teens or early twenties. This seemed to be a common age for consumption to strike.
|The consumptive patient|